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Wednesday, 28 March 1973
Page: 767

Mr DOYLE (LILLEY, QUEENSLAND) - Is the Minister for Housing aware that the construction of aged persons units has fallen behind the requirement in Queensland? Is he in a position to provide information on arrangements made with the Queensland Government for future construction of these units?

Mr Les Johnson (HUGHES, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The honourable member is referring, I think, to the States Grants (Dwellings for Aged Pensioners) Act as distinct from the Aged Persons Homes Act. The Queensland Government got off to a late start. This legislation was introduced in 1969. At that time the Queensland Housing Commission was not providing homes for aged pensioners. It is now and it is making very considerable progress in providing these homes under the relevant legislation. I think the other thing to say is that the Government has now decided to re-enact this legislation from 1st July 1974. In taking this decision it has had regard for the fact that there have been some deficiencies in the legislation in the past - as there are at present for that matter - and up until 1st July 1974 this Act is restricted to the recipients of social service and repatriation benefits, that is, age pensioners and Service pensioners who are eligible for supplementary assistance. This represents a very considerable restriction on eligibility. The Government has decided to reenact the legislation and in the near future I and my colleagues will be giving consideration to the terms and conditions upon which the legislation will be re-enacted. I should say precisely that the Queensland Government has been dragging the chain for the reasons that I have mentioned. It is making progress and I hope that, as a result of its endeavours and the proposals that I have now outlined, the very serious deficiencies in aged pensioners accommodation in Queensland will be soon alleviated.

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